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Real Estate Bisnow (San Francisco)

Bisnow Scoop: Honda's New Life Revealed

We found out who's taking over the Honda dealership at Market and South Van Ness: Crescent Heights.

The triangular dealership (pictured right) has been marketed by Eastdil for a few months. The new housing project would dump a couple hundred more units in mid-Market, sources tell us. Crescent Heights planted a flag in the up-and-coming neighborhood a few years back, deciding to build the mammoth luxury complex known as NEMA with 754 units next to Twitter. We hear the Honda site could be almost as big (up to 700 units) and whoever lives there will reside on a piece of history; in the '70s the Boas family (the sellers) opened the Honda shop in a building that had former lives as a Buick dealership and the Fillmore West auditorium. (That means a lot of metal has passed through that area: iron, steel, and brass instruments.)

Here's Crescent Heights principal Bruce Menin on the November night he flew in for the 450-person christening of NEMA, which has four residential towers, three landscaped terraces, a 7,000 SF gym, and a heated saline pool. (How does anyone who lives there leave?) Crescent Heights has no comment in regards to the Honda site, sized at about 50k SF. Eastdil did not respond to a request for comment. Sources tell us several other big deals are about to be announced at the busy city intersection soon, including the game plan for the for-sale Goodwill site.

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SfunCube Inks Oakland Lease

SfunCube, a solar incubator and co-working space started by Sungevity co-founder Danny Kennedy, just signed a three-floor lease at the Wakefield Building at 426 17th in Oakland. The 27k SF building atop BART has sat empty since Earthjustice moved its HQ to 50 Cal in S.F. Sungevity was founded in Oakland, and thanks to the explosion of solar demand, is now one of its largest tenants. (The sun hasn't been this popular since ancient Egypt.) SfunCube wanted to stay close to Sungevity's HQ in Jack London Square, says Dunhill Partners West's Benjamin Osgood, who repped the tenant. Plus, the model wouldn't work with high S.F. rents

Danny, who authored the best-selling book "Rooftop Revolution," was recently profiled in a NYT piece. Mosaic and the California Center for Sustainable Energy will also vacate 55 Harrison and join SfunCube in the 15k SF space starting May 12. Landlord Aegon, which also owns the Transamerica Pyramid, was repped by Kidder Matthews' David Wientjes and Clayton Jew.


Westcore's Big Concord Sale

Westcore Properties has just completed a $55M sale in Concord, capping a seven-month, $91M flurry of transactions in the Bay Area for the company. (Does that entitle them to a seven-month nap? Is that how that works?) A JV of Prudential Insurance Co and Montgomery Advisors snapped up Westcore's two Class-A office buildings at 1320-1390 Willow Pass Rd in the deal. Mid-city locations like Concord and Union City are in high demand for buying, selling, and leasing, says Westcore CEO Don Ankeny. It's a competitive landscape for new deals, he says, with a lot of money looking for a home in real estate. Westcore prides itself on having relationships with owners, brokers, and bankers, which sometimes means the firm gets an early look on opportunities. The goal is getting good risk-adjusted return on the capital he invests. 

Here's the 347k SF complex, which sits about 31 miles east of S.F. and boasts access to freeways, interestates, and BART. (Easy access and a nice place to picnic if you like to watch traffic jams.) Westcore was repped by Cushman's Grant LammersonWe got Grant on the phone yesterday, who tells us the process was very competitive with other bidders at the table. The $55M price tag was a good value for the buyer, he notes. There is some vacancy on site, with lots of smaller 10k to 15k SF tenants inside.

An update on the Westcore buy we were first to report on in March: We now know that Dreyer's ice cream plant in Union City (pictured; the property consists of two adjacent buildings) went for $8.1M. (Hear that kids? $8.1M is all you need to have all the ice cream you want.) The 115k SF warehouse and manufacturing facility sits at 1250 and 1590 Whipple Rd. Westcore is getting ready to amp up development in the Bay Area, with a Class-A industrial project about to break ground June 3 at the corner of Pacific and Central, Don tells us.

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Real Estate's Finest Come Out To Play

Now here's a real estate power duo: We caught up with Webcor SVP Shelley Doran and Emerald Fund chairman Oz Erickson Tuesday night at City of Hope's annual gala at the Marriott Marquis. The nonprofit's campus near LA in Duarte is packed with esteemed clinicians and researchers who work to eradicate cancer, diabetes, and HIV/AIDS using less toxic and more curative treatments. Celebrity spokespersons include actor Kiefer Sutherland and model Josie MaranThis year City of Hope's Northern California Real Estate & Construction Circle picked Wilson Meany's Chris Meany as the 2014 Spirit of Life Honoree, which recognizes a recipient's personal and professional achievements. (Oz is a previous honoree.)

Real estate at its best is about helping people have "rich, full lives," which is similar to what the City of Hope does—"though in much more rarified air," Chris (right) tells former 49ers executive Carmen Policy onstage. Some landmark projects in his 30-year career include the Ferry Building, Flood Building, and 140 New Montgomery. Now he's leading the redevelopment of Bay Meadows in San Mateo and co-managing (with Lennar) the overhaul of Treasure Island. The live auction portion of the night—cleverly held at the end of the evening after wine's been flowing—raised about $120k, with paddles popping up all over the ballroom. (How much did the paddles go for?)


SF Chart of the Week

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Publisher's Notebook

This was the scene in Denver yesterday morning, with Mayor Michael Hancock speaking to over 350 at the Four Seasons for our Bisnow State of the Market event. We took a crowd vote and the consensus is that the Denver commercial real estate economy is back to a 7 or 8 (with 2007 being a 10 and 2009 being a 1).


Where are you dining al fresco in the city? tierney.plumb@bisnow.com

 
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